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Cinerama
CINERAMA HOLIDAY
(MANIFESTO)

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In the US, singles are mainly reserved for DJs and dance-music enthusiasts. But in England, even American bands have to contend with setting aside non-album tracks to use as B-sides, because the single remains a thriving promotional format for artists of all genres. As one of Englandís most prolific and consistent singer-songwriters, former Wedding Present leader David Gedge is one of the few popsmiths whose odds-and-sods collections are on a par with his best studio albums. Heís proven, first with the Wedding Present and now as the leader of Cinerama, that his B-sides are more killer than filler.

Cinerama Holiday amasses 14 tracks from the four EPs the British quintet released in conjunction with their sophisti-pop gem Disco Volante (Manifesto, 2000). If youíve heard that album, youíll already be acquainted with the rough-hewn surf pop of "Wow" and the slinky, sensual Francophilia of "Lollobrigida." Although these singles are well worth revisiting, itís non-album standouts like the moody and barbed "Reel 2, Dialogue 2," the ruefully gorgeous "Sly Curl," and a lovingly sentimental cover of the Carpentersí "Yesterday Once More" that make this set a keeper. Gedge, whose charismatic croon, cuckolded-lover blues, and taste for, uh, cinematic arrangements recalls such darkly romantic English wits as Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon, remains a Britpop diehard to the core. So though Cinerama Holiday isnít likely to gain him any new fans, itís a completistís dream, and itís consistent enough to serve as an introduction to one of Englandís finest songwriters.

BY MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Issue Date: June 27 - July 3, 2003
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